I'm off to Calgary for work in the first week of July, and i've got a few days to sightsee. Apart from the Stampede, what else should i check out?
What to do in Calgary?
loads of good time girls walking the streets at night
Will you have own transport? Is this Calgary or Calgary and surrounds?
The obvious is Banff National Park - Do a search and there is plenty of stuff covered already on that. But depending on your interests I could suggest some other ideas...
No transport, but willing to go on day trips beyond Calgary if public transport is available. As for interests, museums/arts/culture, food, sports (doing and watching)...
My brother lives in Calgary and over the last few trips we have enjoyed; Heritage Park Historical Village, Calaway Park, Calgary Tower, Calgary Zoo, Fort Calgary, Gas Town, there's a company that does Calgary Walks and a really nice park to the north with views of a big bridge.
PS if you like a beer or two check out the official off-license
EDIT there use to be a botanic garden in a shopping center that's well worth a visit
Stampede and the Stampede grounds are probably worth a day especially if you get tickets to the Rodeo and Wagons.
Sports wise that is the start of the CFL season at McMannon stadium; I like the CFL but to some it is an acquired taste.
The Glenbow museum in downtown Calgary is worth a look. Fort Calgary is also good. I'd rent a bike from Eau Claire market (not that good as a place in it's self) and then do a ride up / down the Bow River. For some more adrenalin activity go to Calgary Olympic park and rent out a AM bike and play on the trails for a day.
I think (but I'm not sure) that you can hire canoes and go for a canoe on the Glenbow lake from heritage park. Failing that there are plenty of companies that do shuttle services along the Bow river for canoeing and floating. They drop you at the NE and pick you up in the SW. Enjoy a float and join the rest of Calgary in trying not to get busted for having alcohol in the boats.... A good activity to people watch. If it's your thing then the fly fishing is world class within Calgary and a number of companies run trips locally.
If you can do it all I would hire a car one day and drive out to the mountains and back. A nice loop would be to go South through the prairies towards long view (on the Cowboy trail); come back via Highwood pass (Highest road in Canada). Gives you a mix of Alberta and rockies whilst avoiding the area around Banff. You could extend that trip by visiting the Head-Smashed-in Buffalo jump site neat Fort Macleod.
I'm not sure but I think some companies do day tours to the Dinosaur National park and Drumheller area. As a geologist I love those places and the Tyrell Museum is one of the best paleontology museums in the world (but if you live in London you'll have been spoilt by the national history museum.)
Hope that helps.
Excellent stuff guys, thanks. Nice to get real experiences rather than the tourist websites.
Cowtown - weird place. Some nice countryside not too far away though.
If you go to the Olympic Park do yourself a favour & go to the top of the 90mtr ski jump & look down. Then say out loud 'Eddie the Eagle was crap, anyone could go down there'
Go on, I dare ya!
Enjoy Calgary, I did.
There's a lovely beach - and you can camp right beside it.
The bear and kilt pub is good and the unicorn does good food. Some reasonable bars with live music away from the main strip. I saw black box there last year "ride on time" FTW!
If you want to stock up on outdoor gear (including mtb kit) check out the mountain equipment co-op, if the exchange rates good you can pick up some bargains!
If you have the time a hire car into the rockies would be a great day out - beautiful drive up to Lake Louise and then some hiking. It's quite a touristy-spot up there, but still stunning IMHO.
if you're after a good night out, head to Cowboys!
And, i always enjoyed the Patio bar at Broken City for chilled out evenings. Patio bar
A trip up to the Canada Olympic park is good too. You can watch the Ski jumpers practising all year round on the big hill. Olympic Park
Hope you have a great time!
Banff & Canmore (slightly nearer Calgary) are both on the railway to Vancouver. Shouldn't take more than an hour by train to Canmore, a little longer to Banff - the trains are rather long and take a while to get up to their (limited) maximum speed
Definitely a bike shop in Canmore, who may or may not be willing to lend/rent you a bike. Nordic Center above the town should have some good trails in summer, but watch out for the bears!
Lake Louise is definitely very picturesque...
As silly as it sounds the Bass pro shop is an experience if you can get a lift there.
I'm not sure but I think some companies do day tours to the Dinosaur National park and Drumheller area
I found the drive their though all the bad lands as interesting as the museum.
You cannot take a scheduled train from Calgary to Banff / Canmore. Only the Tour the Rockies type trains which are not a scheduled service and take you all the way to Vancouver. It's strange but there you go.
good job I did the trip by car then
bit cr@p though
when i was there the tramp watching was really good, I'm from glasgow and they put our tramps to shame. if you go up the tower you can see tramps for miles around.
get a car and head out into the unknown it is an amazing country to see from the comfort of a car. the homes for sale lots where my fav. whole houses to buy and drive away on a couple of lowloaders amazing
Wow, lots more advice, thanks. I don't drive, so i'll see if my colleague does and see about hiring a car for some exploration.
Is the zoo any good?
Zoo is ok, accessible via the c-train. A thing to note with your bus tickets you get a free transfer onto another bus within the hour, so two buses for the price of one.
Calgary is a great city, visit the Olympic park which hosted the 86 Winter Olympics. Visit Sylvan lakes, Banff, lake Louise.
The botanical grades are called Devonian gardens and is free entry.
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